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Meet the artist hoping to change perceptions of Africa with illustrations of celebrities in Kente

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF AFRICA: Dennis Owusu-Ansah

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF AFRICA: Dennis Owusu-Ansah

MEET THE visual artist turning some of your favourite celebrities into African royalty.

Dennis Owusu-Ansah has created winning depictions of stars like Chris Brown, Rihanna and Drake draped in traditional Massai Jewelry.

In his illustration of Rihanna, the Work star dons an Isicholo (a South African Zulu hat), while Nicki Minaj wears head to toe kente print.

“I’ve been getting positive comments from people all over the world,” Dennis told Okay Africa. “It’s good to hear people you’ve never met tell you that your art
puts a smile on their faces. Comments like that motivate me to work harder every day.”

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The 26-year-old Bronx resident, whose family hail from Ghana, said he was inspired to start his celebrity collection after “witnessing my friend getting teased for wearing a kente cloth on our way to church”.

“I figured something must be done to change the perspective of people who are not familiar with African culture,” he said.

Dennis explained it takes one to two days to complete a drawing, which he does using a sketching app, iPad and stylus, and he zeros in on celebrities with a large fanbase to attract a wide audience.

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